It’s getting easier to find close relatives, new study finds

A new study led by Yaniv Erlich discovered it’s easier to find our relatives than we once thought. A majority of Americans from European descent can be matched to a third cousin or closer using an open-access genetic genealogy database. Using simple information such as age and a basic family tree, the identity of an anonymous participant in the study was discovered.

Erlich says that each new participant added to the database is like a “beacon of genetic information” that illuminates the family history of hundreds of individuals. Other studies also show the power of even minimal genetic information to identify relatives. Many individuals are excited to discover more information about their relatives on their family trees.

But is there a drawback to all this new information in a database that’s constantly growing?

“This really brings us to the crossroads of where science and technology and law and policy and ethics meet,” said Frederick Bieber, a medical geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After the use of genetic information to secure the arrest of the Golden State Killer in April, a new survey shows that 79% of individuals support the use of genetic information by law enforcement to identify relatives.

However, Bieber’s chief concern was the balance of privacy and public safety. If used inappropriately, the private information of thousands could be violated.

At DNA Paternity Testing, we use extreme measures to keep your medical information secure. We never sell or release your information except if needed to comply with HIPAA standards. Your secrets are safe with us!

DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles). Call us today at 866.944.9546 or ORDER ONLINE!

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